Author Archive: Daniel Engelke

Daniel currently resides in New York City working as a freelance writer and director. He is a graduate of the Film and Video department of Columbia College, specializing in Italian Neo-realism and French & British New Wave cinema.

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Lay the Favorite

Lay the Favorite

| March 5, 2013 | 0 Comments

Life is always better when you’re winning. Less than a month ago I found myself watching Showgirls, Paul Verhoevan’s effusively sexual story about a young girl learning the ins & outs of pole dancing in Las Vegas. What was so troubling about the production of the film, released in 1995, was not so much the big budget irresponsibility […]

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La Rafle

La Rafle

| October 6, 2012 | 0 Comments

There is always a story to tell from the Holocaust. Whether it be survival or sacrifice, viewers are always thankful such horrific times are over.  Always a fan of French cinema, I was eager to review La Rafle or The Round Up.   And with French greats Melanie Laurent and Jean Reno in lead roles, how could I […]

The Tempest

The Tempest

| September 25, 2012 | 0 Comments

The Tempest is my favorite Shakespeare play. The ambiguous plot allows it to be a range of different genres and one of Shakespeare’s best. Having only seen Richard Burton’s stage-to-screen Hamlet and Royal Shakespeare televised productions, I was curious to see an updated film transfer. My decision was even easier knowing Christopher Plummer was playing the part of […]

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For Whom the Bell Tolls

For Whom the Bell Tolls

| June 20, 2012 | 0 Comments

After reading a great book, we can only hope for an equally pleasing movie adaptation. Ernest Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls, published in 1940, is surely one of the author’s best. The novel shows a Hemingway that has strayed from his obsession with bullfighting and drinking to concern himself with the politics of the […]

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Io Racconto: The Literature of Pier Paolo Pasolini

Io Racconto: The Literature of Pier Paolo Pasolini

| June 7, 2012 | 0 Comments

After recently reviewing Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Ragazzi di Vita, the poet/writer/director’s first novel, on my blog, I decided to dust off (and polish) this essay I wrote on Pasolini some time ago. In “Io Racconto,” I examine the dense Trilogy of Life– ‘The Decameron’, ‘Canterbury Tales’, and ‘Arabian Nights’– as the literary vehicles Pasolini uses for his […]

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Visconti ‘Sandra’ (2)

Visconti ‘Sandra’ (2)

| June 3, 2012 | 1 Comments

It’s bizarre to think that in 2012 we are without a wonderfully restored version of every film from Luchino Visconti. One of the giants of Italian cinema, the director’s early to middle work oscillates between exploring the country’s lower class through Neo-Realism and criticizing the aristocracy with Romanticism. The best example of this is seen when we […]

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Visconti’s Sandra

Visconti’s Sandra

| May 12, 2012 | 0 Comments

It’s bizarre to think that in 2012 we are without a wonderfully restored version of every film from Luchino Visconti. One of the giants of Italian cinema, the director’s early to middle work oscillates between exploring the country’s lower class through Neo-Realism and criticizing the aristocracy with Romanticism. The best example of this is seen when we […]

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The Woman behind ‘The Iron Lady’ – An interview with Phyllida Lloyd

The Woman behind ‘The Iron Lady’ – An interview with Phyllida Lloyd

| April 24, 2012 | 1 Comments

Q: I just got a chance to see The Iron Lady yesterday. And throughout the whole film I kept asking myself, what was the initial attraction to the infamous Margaret Thatcher? A: I’m always attracted to stories of  powerful and complex women. I’ve worked on two projects about giant female political personalities of the U.K. […]

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The Lady

The Lady

| April 17, 2012 | 0 Comments

I had only heard bad reviews about Luc Besson’s latest film The Lady before I saw it.  The negativity was primarily because the director’s earlier works, Leon: The Professional(1994) and The Fifth Element(1997), are very entertaining. After hearing The Lady was a biopic about Burmese political leader Aung San Suu Kyi, bad memories of the director’s mediocre The Messenger: The Story of Joan of […]

Damsels in Distress

Damsels in Distress

| April 17, 2012 | 0 Comments

It’s been 14 years since Whit Stillman’s The Last Days of Disco. Over a decade without the director’s snappy humor and witty dialogue has been much too long. I must admit, my affinity for the director is quite new. But within the span of a week this past fall, I devoured his “doomed bourgeois trilogy” Metropolitan, Barcelona, and The […]

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